This morning I woke up early planning to write. But I realized I had one more day before the deadline for my UWS show and I had nothing to enter. It's a watercolor show, but every piece can be no larger than 12" including the frame. And I don't have anything that size, unbelievable! So I thought I would try and paint something real quick, knowing this would be the last bit of free time I would have before Saturday. I painted this in Sepia to kind of give it a more western feel and because it is much quicker for me to only work in value instead of color.
I put in my ipod and gathered a cup of water and a cup of sepia paint, a few brushes and a paint rag and sat in the middle of my family room floor and just painted. I didn't keep track of time and it went so fast! I was done in about an hour, which I still can't believe because I am a SLOW artist. And while I realize that this piece is more of a study than a masterpiece, it was fun and I like it. The house was so quiet, it was still dark outside, and it had just started to snow. It was a good time. And I am pretty happy with myself that I will be meeting my goal :)
Sometimes we do just need to get started, it seems to me that my most successful paintings are the ones I did on a whim. Just because I thought it would be fun, or because I wanted to. Not because I thought a judge would like it, or that it would sell, but just for me. In fact most of the paintings of mine that have won awards have been exactly like that. Of course some I paint thinking they are fantastic and no one else does, but that's a whole other story.
I really believe that if we are true to our "artist hearts" and create what moves us, or inspires us instead of what we think we "should" be creating that other people will respond to our work the same way we do. Paintings that are created from the heart can't help but touch other people as well. They just can feel it. And I know we will succeed if we remember that in everything that we do. Maybe not always in the way others think we should, but to us we will. So create what moves you, and everything else will fall into place.
The success I feel in creating this painting today is internal, I feel good about myself, more confident, ready to tackle another project. Because I have proven to myself that I can. And if that's not success, I don't know what is. Now I need to apply this line of thinking to my writing, which at times consumes me with nasty self doubt. Just keep telling yourself you can do this, because you are awesome. You know Dwight from the Office? When he wanted to ask Michael for a raise and he went out into the hall and did some dorky dance to head banging 80's rock talking himself up, "Because I'm Awesome!!!!" he shouted. Keep telling yourself that in a much less humiliating, lame, Dwight way. Do what you love the rest will follow.
So, my question to all you reading this is, how do you let yourself do what you love, and not be paralyzed by what other people think? Feel free to comment, I love to hear them.